Dear Money – Can’t We Be Friends?

(In my past vocation as an ESL teacher, I’ve taught that there are three things Americans think impolite to bring up in unfamiliar company: politics, religion, and money.  This post is all about the latter, so consider yourself warned).

Once there was a movie called Penelope.  This movie is a modern fairy tale in which a New York blue blood, Penelope, is cursed to have the nose and ears of a pig until she is loved by one of her own.  To try and help the romantic process along, her mother gives Penelope a huge dowry.  This attracts more than a few down-on-their-luck blue bloods, including one Max Campion, a compulsive gambler:

Penelope: “So you’re a fan of the money.”
Max: “I’m a big fan of the money. But it doesn’t seem to like me.”
Penelope: “Well maybe the money and you weren’t meant to be.”

I can empathize with Max in this conversation.

I hasten to say that I am not impoverished. Far from it. I live in a comfortable apartment, have a modest savings account, a sturdy car, and secure employment for the present.  I have access to clean tap water, a free library, and DSL.  I’m certainly among the world’s wealthy elite, and there is no reason to complain.

There always seems to be just enough–and no more. Every month, the budget is drawn up and every section receives it’s due portion. And every month, there is nothing extra. No happy little cushion of dollars for a rainy day, no spare fifties or twenties to ease the mind into a feeling of contentment and self-satisfaction.

Like the Israelites in the desert, I get the manna and quail, sufficient just for the day.

And, like the Israelites, a part of me longs to squirrel something extra away. It can’t be that wrong to want a little more put by, can it? With just a little more, I will be free from worry. With just a little more, and a little more, and a little more after that, all my problems will be solved, and then I can truly be at peace. With just a little more, I can finally focus on giving to others.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5 ESV)

Using one’s funds with prudence and Biblical stewardship is a good thing. Hanging one’s happiness and ability to trust God on the continual pursuit and production of money is not.

It is time for me to realize that me and the money weren’t meant to be. I’m already in a relationship with an all-powerful Creator provides for me in countless ways and has promised to never leave me or forsake me. Furthermore, He has blessed me with many relatives and friends who give wonderful love and encouragement.

It is not my job to decide when I am ready to use my finances for the glory of God. It is my delightful calling to surrender my finances to the will of God, to follow His lead regarding their distribution, and to love Him above all else.

And be ever thankful that books from the library are free — as long as I return them on time.

For now, continue to:

Read the Extraordinary.  Responsibly.


Taste of the Fantastical

“Dogs have no money. Isn’t that amazing? They’re broke their entire lives. But they get through. You know why dogs have no money? .. No Pockets.” – Jerry Seinfeld

But what if they did…?


9 thoughts on “Dear Money – Can’t We Be Friends?

  1. There is never enough money if that is all a person lives for. I enjoyed what you wrote, because you were able to see how much you do have. The hardest thing for some of us is to realize just how blessed we really are. Clean water, a roof over our heads, a car, clothes, familiy and friends. And I love the dog pictures!

  2. I like that movie and this post. :) My hubby and I have been students for most of our five-year marriage, so I keep looking forward to the day when we won’t be “broke” because he’ll have a good job. And yet… we’ve always had enough. Like you, we have a nice home, a good vehicle, free books at the library (and lots at home that we haven’t read yet!), even a tiny bit of extra money to go on a trip next week (with the help of some points). We are truly blessed, if only we stop to look at it and to thank God for providing for us every day. :) Thanks for the reminder!

    • You’re welcome! Thanks for the comment! It’s good to know we aren’t the only ones who are living in “just-enough-ness.” I was recently convicted by a church sermon that it is actually a blessing to be in this place, because there’s less temptation to be caught up in a multitude of material things. Easier said than done on occasion, but all things through Christ Jesus!

  3. I did enjoy this post now that I finally got a chance to read it. Very catchy title btw. Had me puzzling about it since I first saw it show up in my inbox. Makes me want to watch Penelope again.

    As they say “money doesn’t buy happiness.” Horrible little cliche, but totally true. And I find I’ve had almost all my happiest moments without a lot of moula or any money at all. And regardless of my life circumstances, I’ve been learning throughout my relationship with God, to be content with what I have and that it is God alone who brings me joy.

    • Thanks! Haha, yes, the title was inspired by some wishful mutterings as I balanced the monthly budget! They say that the reason cliches are cliches is because they are so often true that it’s annoyingly obvious.

      Great to hear how God is growing you in your walk! For me it’s often “one step forward, two steps back”–but at least I’m still walking!

  4. Dogs don’t need money. Some extreme pet owners spend oodles and oodles of money on their pets, more than I’d ever spend on my own child, let alone a pet. But I wonder, if dogs had money, would they spend as much on their owners as their owners spend on them?

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